Community Classroom: There’s so much to do at The Gathering Place

Community - Classroom - Emily Rancier

On these quiet winter days, often snow-bound or ice-bound, thoughts turn to what is in store at The Gathering Place this month. We are BUSY even though classes don’t begin officially until Feb. 24 when a Weaving Workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. That day, using a rigid heddle loom and warping a variety of yarns in a “log cabin” pattern, the weavers will make a series of coasters, all different. Come in and see the samples on TGP’s bulletin board and be inspired to join us.

Dori, Anne and friends have been busy promoting, and preparing for, The Wizarding World of Ice. During the Ice Festival weekend Feb. 16-18 come in and see what creatures have taken shape, and will preside over, the scene at Hogwarts (other-wise known as The Gathering Place). Fun children’s activities, hot soup, a juggler, a magician and a storyteller all have a part to play at Harry Potter’s famous school of wizardry. Wonderful music will also be part of the magic happening during this weekend.

There were five senior applicants for the Our Town Art Scholarship. The scholarship winner was scheduled to be announced Feb. 9 at the first Student Art Show at TGP. We are so appreciative of all the work the art teachers at the high school expended in putting this show together. You will be astounded by the breadth and ability of these students using paint, pastel, pen and ink, photography, metals and clay. It’s a really fun show, and it will be hanging in the Art Gallery as our first classes begin. Many thanks to Shirley Eagen and Dorothy O’Connor for providing such a generous scholarship, and encouraging our youth in their artistic endeavors.

The Art Gallery committee met recently to discuss upcoming shows. A Call for Entries goes out this week for the March show called “Abstraction,” due to open March 23 at The Gathering Place. Please e-mail a high-resolution, digital image of your work to by March 7. There is no entry fee. If your work is accepted, there is a $20 hanging fee for the first piece, $5 each for subsequent accepted pieces.

On March 5, Jill and Gehred Wetzel will begin their seven-week course of Ballroom Dance – your choice of Advanced American Tango or Beginners West Coast Swing. As always, classes meet at Clarks Green UMC on Glenburn Road. Start your new year with a spring and swing in your step.

The Songwriters’ Roundtable meets at 7 p.m. on Sundays Feb. 18, March 4 and April 15 in the Gathering Place Gallery. Here is an opportunity to talk and play with other like-minded people practicing their craft and exchanging ideas and techniques. Join in no matter what your experience or age level.

Important forums on senior health and the opioid crisis will continue through March. The Wellness Initiative for Senior Education (WISE) will convene from 10 a.m. to noon on six Tuesdays from March 6 to April 12. WISE celebrates healthy aging and educates on how to use simple tools to help you feel empowered about your health and healthcare. Expect refreshments and gift certificates.

Open the Dialogue will bring the discussion of substance abuse into the open. We encourage everyone to join the dialogue, especially parents and caretakers of children in grades 5-12 and beyond. Join us for at 7 p.m. for four Thursdays — March 8, 29, April 19 and May 10.

The Art Market has been on hiatus since December, but we plan on two upcoming opportunities for artists to sell their work: March 10 and May 13. The market begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. If you are interested in either date, please send an application with description and images of your art to us at We look forward to hearing from you, and hope this venue will bring artists and their art into the public eye.

Phil Sallavanti returns to TGP March 14 to introduce you to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. This was a very popular class last fall; everyone seemed to enjoy their time with Phil and get a lot out of it. The class meets at 6:30 p.m. six Wednesdays from March 14 to April 18. Also starting March 14 is a writing class taught by Anne Stopper. She will teach you about the process of writing non-fiction using primary oral histories. Interviewing your sources will be part of the topics discussed. Now is the time to find out that story from a local character or relative and write it down for posterity.

Finally, both Excell and Pysanky Eggs will be held at 6 p.m. March 15. I know it’s a hard choice for you to make but follow one side of your brain or the other and take a class that night. It will be fun and your brain will love you for it.

Coming up soon: Italian (March 20) and Cannoli-making (March 21). Maybe you should take both. Please check our website for our entire spring schedule



Emily Rancier

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at